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Tag Archives: Annual Register

Drury_lane_interior_1808In researching for my WIP, Summerfield sister Genna’s story, I looked into my copy of The Annual Register, Or a View of History, Politics, and Literature of the Year 1816 (Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1817) and came across this entry in the Chronicles for February 17, 1816.

At Drury Lane Theatre, at the opening scene of the farce called Modern Antiques, or The Merry Mourners, in which Miss Kelly appeared in the character of Nan, a country girl; and Mr. Knight, as Joey, a country lad; while these two performer were, according to their parts, embracing, a pistol was discharged from about the centre of the pit. Great consternation was excited on the stage and among the audience and it was not ascertained whether any person was shot, or what mischief was done. It was not known then whether the deadly attack was intended to be against Miss Kelly or Mr. Knight; but a subsequent investigation proved that it was aimed at Miss Kelly….

The shooter was George Barnett, aged 21, a law stationer who lived at No. 22 Princess Street. He was stopped and apprehended by two members of the audience and taken to the managers’ office in the theatre, where he and the witnesses were questioned by Mr. Birnie, the magistrate. Barnett would not say anything at the time, though. He was then taken to Tothill Fields Bridewell by the constables. The recovered pistols were taken to Bow Street.

Pistolet_marine_1837-IMG_6935Mr. Birnie stated that from the wild and incoherent manner in which he (Barnett) conducted himself that there is “very little doubt of his insanity.”

The account goes on:

It was with some difficulty that Miss Kelly finished acting her character in the farce. On her being informed of the man’s name, she recollected that it was the same name which she had received, signed to several love-letters, some of which contained threats, if she did not accept his offer, etc–She, not knowing the person, treated the whole as a matter of indifference…The fright had such an effect upon her that she has been much indisposed since, and was confined yesterday…

When the pistol was fired, several shots perforated through the left back scene and struck the back of the orchestra. Had it been a musical farce, members of the orchestra might have been struck.

Don’t you feel this could have happened in today’s world? So much rings familiar–shootings in theaters, obsessed fans, even brave bystanders saving the day.

Reading through the Chronicles in the various Annual Registers (I have from 1810 to 1820), I am always struck by how little some things have changed in two hundred years.

Do you have any examples?

Later today, I will be choosing a winner of Lavinia Kent’s latest book, Ravishing Ruby. There’s still time to come by and comment for a chance to win!



What a difference a week makes:

For want of anything else to talk about besides the beautiful weather we’re having this week, I thought I’d simply pass on something from the Annual Register for 1816. The Annual Register was sort of like an Almanac, printing all the important events from the previous year. You can view this 1816 Annual Register on Google Books.

This is from the Chronicles section of the Annual Register, which gives important or interesting news events from each month. This is dated March 30 (because most of the other March articles were about shipwrecks, murders, and fires)

The following particulars of the Woolwich smuggling have been published in a morning paper —On the voyage home, a carpenter employed in securing the packages discovered the secret. Immediately on arrival he gave information at the Customhouse, but it was ten days more before the ship was inspected ; in the mean time much of the smuggled goods for certain persons were got away, and only those were left for men of less note. There were to the value of 7,OOOl. for one man, packed up as—”Return Congreve rockets.” There were many rare things which were got out of the way. In the mortars were laces, gloves, cambrics, etc. and in the tumbrils were claret, champagne, etc. Many people have long supplied themselves and friends with wine in this way, and their wives with finery. This is the only vessel which has been detected, but the trade has long and successfully been carried on to a great extent. The man who informed got about 1,000l.

Woolwich is in the borough of Greenwich on the Thames; it is about 3 miles east of Greenwich and 10 miles east of London, which goes to show that smuggling didn’t only take place in Cornwall!

Are you familiar with the Annual Registers? I have copies from 1810 to 1820 but if you can find them online you can search them so easily.

Be sure to visit my website for sneak peeks of my Undone, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh, and my novella, Justine and the Noble Viscount in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor. There’s a new contest, too!

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Remember me mentioning my Annual Registers? Annual Registers were compilations of important information of the previous year: world events, politics, news stories, births, deaths, marriages, promotions, even poetry sometimes. I wrote a bit more about them at History Hoydens last week.

When we both were very new Regency authors, my friend Kathryn Caskie called me to say that an antiquarian bookseller had several Annual Registers he was willing to sell, enough for each of us to have a complete set of 1810 to 1820. Was I interested? Was I!!! He sold them for $20 each, which was a bargain for us and a steal for him, because they were in such bad shape he probably would have thrown them away.

Here’s what they looked like, covers falling off, binding torn or missing, tape holding them together:
I priced rebinding, but it was much too expensive and I couldn’t justify spending more money on these books. They were usable and that was enough for me.

Then my husband’s friend came to visit. He’s a printer, which I always knew, but I didn’t know he was also a bookbinder! He had an old binding device and materials which he gave me with instructions on how to rebind my books!

Today I mustered the courage to give it a try. Here’s how I did it.

Step 1. I gathered the materials. (This is my dining room)

Step 2. I removed the old binding (I’m going to use that rolling pin)

Step 3. Next I lined up the cardboard.

Step 4. Then I glued it down and used the rolling pin to press it down and force out all the air bubbles. (This is my second try, using black cardboard)

Step 5. I glued on the inside lining and positioned the binding glue strip.

Step 6. I then placed the pages in the new binding and put it in the machine.


I’m a little sad to let the old binding go, especially on the books that have the least damage, but now I’ll be able to handle the books without them falling apart and crumbling in my hands and without the pages coming loose.

Have you ever rebound books? Or have you ever taken a chance on doing any kind of craft that you never did before?

(I can’t wait until tomorrow and Cara’s discussion of Northanger Abbey!)


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